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Hall of Fame basketball coach John Thompson Jr. dies at 78

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cmannphoto/iStockBy JEANETTE TORRES-PEREZ, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Former Georgetown head basketball coach John Thompson Jr. has died at the age of 78, the university announced on Monday.

Georgetown shared the following statement, released on behalf of Thompson’s family, on its Twitter account:

“We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson, Jr. Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else. However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday. We will miss him but are grounded in the assurance that we carry his faith and determination in us. We will cherish forever his strength, courage, wisdom and boldness, as well as his unfailing love. We know that he will be deeply missed by many and our family appreciates your condolences and prayers. But don’t worry about him, because as he always liked to say, ‘Big Ace is cool.'”

Thompson led Georgetown to its 1984 title, becoming the first Black coach to win a NCAA division I national championship. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

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